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PHOTOS, Day 4: Australia in control with 326-run lead

Last updated on: December 29, 2014 15:01 IST
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Shaun Marsh (62 not out) hit a half-century as Australia reached 261-7 at close in their second innings, stretching their lead to 326 runs against India on the fourth day of the third Test in Melbourne, on Monday.

Earlier, India were dismissed within 15 minutes of the start of play for the addition of only three runs to their overnight score of 462-8, handing the hosts a 65-run lead.

Australia rode on David Warner's fluent 40 and Rogers' patient 69 to extend their lead before off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up two wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Rain intervened after lunch, resulting in a loss of 85 minutes of play before India's bowlers took regular wickets to leave the hosts at 174 for four in 43 overs at tea, which was taken after an extended second session.

Check out the images from the fourth day's play at MCG:

Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh of Australia bats during Day four of the third Test match against India at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia put themselves in a comfortable position by taking an overall lead of 326 runs by the end of the fourth day as the third cricket Test headed for an exciting finish, with India needing to go for a all-out win to keep themselves afloat in the series.

Scorecard

Match Report

The hosts then rode on David Warner's pacy 40, Rogers' patient 69 and Shaun Marsh (62 not out) to reach 261-7 at close on a rain-hit fourth day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, taking an overall lead of 326 with three wickets in hand.

Interestingly, England is the only team to have successfully chased down a total of 300 plus on the fourth innings at MCG. They had made 332 for seven way back in 1929.

At stumps, Shaun Marsh and Ryan Harris were batting on 62 and 8 respectively.

 David Warner of Australia is dismissed

David Warner is dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The hosts had got off to a rousing start with Warner hitting 40 from 42 balls, inclusive of six fours as he coming out to bat despite a bruised right arm to go with his already hurting left thumb.

He took first strike and smacked Yadav for three fours in his first two overs, racing to 18 off just 12 balls. He kept attacking the Indian bowling, giving his team an early push as they look to set an imposing fourth-innings' target for India.

Australia, who lead the four-match series 2-0, need only a draw in Melbourne to seal it.

Fans wait as rain delays play during day four of the third Test match

Fans wait as rain delays play during day four of the third Test match. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

With one whole day left, Australia may add a few more runs before declaring the innings and set India a stiff target early on Tuesday. India will have to play out of their skin to either win or save the match on a tricky fifth day track.

Chris Rogers of Australia hunches over his bat as Indian players celebrate his dismissal

Chris Rogers reacts after his dismissal as India's players celebrate. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin then had Chris Rogers playing onto his stumps for 69 late in the session. Ashwin's dismissal of Rogers gave the tourists renewed hope.

Mitchell Johnson of Australia reacts after being dismissed

Mitchell Johnson of Australia reacts after being dismissed. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

However, rain intervention after lunch, resulted in a loss of 85 minutes of play and when play resumed, regular wickets fell to leave the hosts at 174/4 in 43 overs at tea, which was taken after an extended second session.

Ishant Sharma of India falls over in his follow through

Ishant Sharma of India falls over in his follow through. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

In the final session of play, India took three more wickets, dismissing Joe Burns (9), Brad Haddin (13) and Johnson (15) but Australia had put themselves in a comfortable position by then.

Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates with team mates after dismissing Umesh Yadav of India

Mitchell Johnson (left) celebrates with team mates after dismissing Umesh Yadav. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Earlier, India were dismissed within 15 minutes of the start of play for the addition of only three runs on their overnight score of 462-8.

They lost their last two wickets to paceman Mitchell Johnson, who finished with 3-135 after being cleaned up by Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane on day three.

Number 10 batsman Umesh Yadav was caught behind by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for a duck on the second ball of the day with an almost unplayable, rising delivery that nicked his bat handle on the way through.

Johnson then had Mohammed Shami out for 12 when he swiped at a fuller delivery that captain Steven Smith caught easily at second slip. Ishant Sharma was nought not out.

Paceman Ryan Harris finished with figures of 4-70.

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